We’ll guide you through injury cases with complex and unique insurance issues.

What is an uninsured motorist?

The California Insurance Code defines an uninsured motor vehicle as one not covered by a liability insurance policy, including a vehicle where coverage is denied, such as for an excluded driver or if the vehicle is stolen. If you are involved in a hit and run accident and the owner cannot be identified, that vehicle is also considered uninsured. Finally, a vehicle can also become uninsured if the insurance company goes out of business while your claim is pending.

Overview of uninsured motorist coverage

In most states, law requires auto insurance companies to offer uninsured to all motorists. If you refuse to obtain this coverage you must sign a written waiver.

If you are injured in an accident with an uninsured driver, provided that you have uninsured motorist coverage, you can file a claim with your insurance company.

There are two types of uninsured motorist coverage:

  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI) is designed to cover injuries to you and any person in your vehicle in an accident with an uninsured driver who is at fault. The benefits cannot exceed the amount of your personal liability coverage.
  • Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) pays for the damage to your car from an accident with an uninsured driver who is at fault, but is limited to $3,500 and only pays if the uninsured driver is identified.

About ​filing an uninsured motorist claim

In order to file an uninsured motorist claim, you must be able to confirm that the other driver was at fault and that the motorist was not insured. Therefore, it is crucial to notify your insurer as soon as possible.

An uninsured claim is similar to a typical car accident insurance claim, and many insurers will offer an immediate settlement for as little as possible. If a settlement cannot be reached between you and the insurance then we advise you to contact Sunset West Legal Group to assist you further. Our firm is well equipped to properly serve a demand for formal arbitration. If this process does not resolve the matter, a hearing may be necessary before an arbitrator who will make a final decision.

About underinsured motorist accidents

Getting into an accident can be a terrible experience, even more terrible if the other driver’s insurance is not great enough to cover the financial costs of the accident. While California law requires all motorists to have automobile insurance, many drivers only carry the minimum amount allowed by law: $15,000 for injury or death to one person such as another driver, passenger, or pedestrian, $30,000 for injury or death to more than one person, and 5,000 for damage to property.

Overview of underinsured motorist coverage

Underinsured coverage is designed to cover injury costs if you are involved in an accident with a driver whose coverage is not enough to pay for damages. In most states, law requires auto insurance companies to offer this coverage to all motorists. The benefits are limited to the amount of your personal liability coverage and do not include property damage.

If you’re in a situation, you must promptly notify the insurance company that you intend to file an underinsured motorist claim, and the time to do so is limited.

At Sunset West Legal Group, we understand that every injury case is different. We have recovered millions for our clients by advising them on next steps, negotiating on their behalf with powerful insurance companies, and even representing clients in court in front of a jury. Your free consultation is the first step in letting us help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.